Saturday, February 19, 2011

How I Discovered My Adopted USCT Soldier Madison Lewis

This is continuation from the blog posting on "My Adopted USCT Soldier."
I first learned about Madison Lewis after reading the unpublished autobiography* of his brother-in-law George Washington Fields (1854-1932). In this narrative entitled Come on Children, George Fields writes about his life as a slave in Hanover County, VA and his family’s escape to Hampton, VA in March 1863. Other time periods in George Fields’ life through adulthood are also included in this autobiography. The first time that Madison Lewis is mentioned in this narrative is when Fields writes about the day his family escaped from slavery in Hanover County, VA to Hampton, VA. This escape occurred in late March 1863 according to Fields, and arrived at Old Point Comfort in Hampton, VA in early April. Early that morning on the day of the escape, a skirmish between Confederate and Union soldiers occurred at the Hanover County Virginia Courthouse . After the Union army’s victory in this skirmish, numerous slaves in the area escaped to Union lines and onward to freedom.

*Note: A typed copy of “Come on Children” is housed in the Sis. Evans collection of the Hampton History Museum. Based on the typist notes in this manuscript, this copy was typed from another draft of this autobiography. I have not yet located the original of this autobiography.
My focus of this research project is James A. Fields, but through searching his life, I have veered off into other research directions of his kinfolks such as his brother George Washington Fields, his mother Martha Fields, and now his brother-in-law, Madison Lewis.

Through an internet research on a few weeks ago, I discovered that Madison Lewis was a United States Colored Troop soldier. This has been an extremely exciting journey into military and Civil War era research and I still can’t believe that I’m even interested in this type of research.

To Be Continued. . . Part 2

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